By: Sam Fowler
Each new media revolution brings a revolution in advertisement. Once upon a time, ads were black and white in newspapers. Such as this gem here from a 1898 newspaper:
Then came black and white classic and traditional TV ads like this simple 1950’s ad praising a “soft feminine look”:
Then some color was added in the 80’s keeping that same cheesy vibe:
Now every seemingly annoying ad is a masterpiece compared to old ads. TV has become the greatest master of advertising to to the large advantage of having movement, sound, and great aesthetic appeal.
Here is a shampoo ad from 2017. Just a tiny bit better. With a little social commentary with the modern feminist “Strong is beautiful” statement. Needless to say, we have come a long way.
Unfortunately for advertisers (and fortunately for consumers) loopholes such as time shifting have become disadvantages for tv advertisement as noted by John Vivian. This has caused some companies to rethink advertising opportunities.
While TV ads are still more successful than internet ads due to existing brand recognition and that newer brands advertise on the internet, it is predicted that that will change soon.Even though it’s clear, due to modern media convergence, that the internet is becoming the new pump house for advertisements, advertisers are still reluctant to switch as they still view Tv as the main platform to build brand recognition. However, a new future for televised advertising needs to be that ads are entertainment in themselves, as Vivian notes as well, or consumers will continue to find loopholes.
There is one day of commercials, however, where they expand appeal and entertainment of programming rather than clutter it. This is the Super Bowl. Oh the Super Bowl, a true American holiday.
The magnitude of the NFL and the Super Bowl and be wrapped up in this quote from the movie Concussion:
“ The NFL owns a day of the week, the same day the church used to own.”
For one nation under God, we might as well become one nation under football. And one American value that permeates through this day in perfect patriotism?- consumerism .
Every ad showed during the Super Bowl costs 5 million dollars. 5 million dollars for a Super Bowl commercial is an all time high but it is still a bargain for the viewership advertisements will get. Production costs are also roughly the cost of airtime. The Super Bowl has become a platform for audio-visual advertising to reinvent itself every year to exceed the success of the previous year.
However, It wasn’t until the 80’s actually that commercials actually became part of Super Bowl appeal. While 1979 introduced the Mean Joe Green”Catch Kid” classic Super Bowl commercial, 1984 brought an Apple commercial that changed direction of Super Bowl ads and advertising in general to become plot driven rather than a direct pitch to buy a product or obvious ploy of brand recognition. While slightly terrifying , it does carry a message about the future and plays against its rival at the time- IBM.
This idea of commercials not only boasting a product but also bringing weighted messages and meaning was heightened even more this year in the 2017 Super Bowl commercials. With a particularly heated political climate at the moment and a large mass audience of the most stereotypically American Americans out there, companies saw their shot on screen as being more than just a catchy product boost. Here are a few of the commercials from this year packed with political and social commentary:
The first are two commercials commenting on the political climate surrounding immigration. The second Lumber commercial has direct allusion to Donald Trump’s “wall” he wanted or wants to build on the U.S. Mexico border which has been a topic of heated debate and scrutiny of Trump
The last one titled “Daughter” brings feminism to the gaps between a male dominated game and caters to a male audience while promoting gender equality in a powerful way. Now thats no silly coke or pepsi commercial from the 70’s or 80’s.
Advertisements are becoming not only a consumer tool but a social tool to sell ideologies. Milton had a theory of the marketplace of ideas.Milton’s marketplace is now one in which modern television ads shine beautifully .
And now for your viewing pleasure after a long read- the most adorable Super Bowl ad out there.
John Vivian on Mass Communication
Internet Versus Television Advertising